A new attraction at the Dolní Morava resort in the Czech Republic has visitors walking around with their heads in the clouds. The Sky Walk is a 55-m (180-ft)-high wooden walkway on top of a mountain. It is aimed at being both fun and educational, with a helter skelter-type slide providing a fast way down.
The Dolní Morava resort caters for visitors all year round. In the summer, it's possible to walk, cycle, rent Segways and use the year-round bobsleigh run. There is also a water park, an "adrenaline park" and a picnic and grill area. In the winter, the resort offers snow sports such as skiing and sledging.
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Designed by architect Zdeněk Fránek, the Sky Walk is the latest addition to the resort. The idea was first conceived in 2012, but construction only began in April of this year. To begin, any snow remaining on the slopes was removed and 6.5-m (21.3-ft) foundations were dug into solid rock.
Ondřej Černý of the Dolní Morava resort tells Gizmag that the the biggest challenge was the process of building the structure in such testing climate conditions. Located at the top of a mountain 1,116 m (3,661 ft) above sea level, the site is very windy and often covered with fog or clouds. As a result, construction had to be paused on several occasions.
Now complete, the walkway spirals upwards with a length of 700 m (2,300 ft). It is made of 600 cu m (21,200 cu ft) of larch wood and 380 tons (345 tonnes) of steel. Černý says the Sky Walk can resist winds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph) and can theoretically accommodate up to 4,000 people, although the practical capacity is 1,400.
The Sky Walk is said to be easy to climb, even with strollers or for those in wheelchairs. Once at the top, visitors can take in views of the Králický Sněžník massif, the Morava river and the Krkonoše mountain range. They can also learn from information boards about the history of the adjacent valley and about the clouds as a meteorological phenomenon. When it's time to leave, the 100-m (328-ft) long helter-skelter can take visitors back to ground level.
The Sky Walk opened on Dec 5th. The video below is a timelapse of the Sky Walk's construction and shows the wildly variable weather conditions of the site.